Porträt: Makrofotograf - Michal Rosinski

7 minutes

Porträt: Makrofotograf - Michal Rosinski

Mo., 10/11/2014 - 10:43
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In diesem ausführlichen Porträt lernt ihr Michal Rosinsiki näher kennen - ein begnadeter Makrofotgraf aus Polen! Seine Fotos sind sensationell! Ein Blick lohnt sich!

"The macro photography is something unique and magical for me, it gives me the possibility to take a deep breath and relax in the pure nature..." Michal Rosinski

Michal Rosinski
Michal Rosinski

Hi Michal Tell us something about you. Who are you? And where are you from?

My name is Michal, im 39, living in Poland. Married, one child :)

How did you get into macro photography?

I always liked getting my camera out and taking some photos. My first camera was an analog Kodak camera from the eighties, a fully automatic, compact camera for 35mm films. A decade later, I changed the equipment to Zenith (mirror), then to the Chinon (Pentax-compatible mirror), Ricoh XRX-PF3 (I still have this camera hidden to this day, Pentax-compatible mirror) and then, about 4 or 5 years ago I got into digital photography with the Pentax K10D.

Two years ago my K10 broke so I decided to change it to the Pentax K5. I’m using this camera today for macro and other stuff. I started to take macro shots when I got into digital photography, so I’m a rookie in this area :) I just viewed the Polish Pentax forum, where I saw many great macro pictures.

I started to wonder how it was possible to take such pictures, me having no money for expensive lenses. It seemed impossible, but one day I realized by accident that I was wrong. I walked along the fields with my K10 taking standard pictures of nature all around me, having my 50 mm manual lens and 2x converter with me, which had the lens inside that could be removed.

After removing this converter I discovered that it could became an extension tube. I tried to take some handheld shots of small butterflies, and wow! It worked - I was able to fit the butterfly completely into the whole picture :). I was amazed and started to experiment a bit with 50 mm and this extension tube in natural light, with some success.

That is how it all started. Then I experimented with some non-macro lenses, especially other 50 mm, some semi-macro old Russian lenses like the Industar 61, and then I got into "prime lens" macro lenses like the Takumar's and this year's Pentax 100 mm. The whole series of 2014 macro shots were taken with Super Macro Takumar 100/4 (1:2) and Pentax F 100/2.8 (1:1). Both are amazing!

Schmetterling - Michal Rosinski

Explain to us, what a typical macro photography session of yours looks like.

I usually wake up in the morning. In mid-summer that’s about 3:30am-4am, for other seasons it’s about 4-6am. I take all of my equipment like my tripod, diffuse umbrella, camera, lens and some reflectors, with me and go into fields looking for something interesting. It’s not rocket science :).

When I find something, I just put the tripod down, attach the camera to it, and just take shots, that's it :). I usually use LiveView while zooming to get the best sharpness possible. As I work in natural light, I have to set the aperture to f8 or even sometimes to f16, and use longer times, even up to a few seconds. To work like this you have to have good weather conditions which is not easy, but I don’t care.

When I have such conditions it's fine, if not, I just wait for better weather. I always thought that macro photography was something magical, something very hard to master, especially if you wanted to get good pictures in high quality, but it’s not like that, really. It’s actually quite simple - what you have to learn is patience. Without patience you won’t be a good macro photographer :) That’s how it works for me :).

Libelle beim Schlupf - Michal Rosinski

Libelle beim Schlupf - Michal Rosinski


How many photos do you usually bring back usually from such a macro tour?

Speaking about the amount of photos - when I started to take macro pictures using the handheld technique I had to take a lot more pictures, like between 100-200 per species or motive. When I got into working with my tripod, the amount of good pictures increased dramatically, so currently I take about 100 pictures with all motives included during one macro session. It’s a very good amount, as I don't want to overwork the aperture or mirror.

Let us talk about your equipment in detail. For tiny animals like the jumping spiders you need extension tubes or do you use a reverse ring, or both :)? And you said you use natural light. Is this still possible for this high magnifications or do you also have to use some flash light too?

When it comes to equipment - for bigger species I usually use the 100mm lens that I had mentioned previously, with 1:1 or 1:2 magnification. It’s enough to keep a good depth of field (DOF), even on lower aperture settings, like 5.6 or 7.1 (especially for 1:1 lens). For smaller species, I also use 100mm but in combination with my Raynox DCR-250. This specific lens does not decrease the picture quality, nor does it reduce the light and it is beautifully compact. For extremely small species like jumping spiders or spider's portraits I use reversed 28mm lens alone or with extension tubes (3-part extensions like 13, 21 and 31mm).

I don’t work with the flash, all my pictures are in natural light, even those with very high magnification. When I started to take macros I couldn’t imagine working with such small creatures like, for instance, jumping spiders without using the flash, but it’s really possible. What you have to do is learn the behaviour of your subject and with that everything becomes possible :)

Libelle - Michal Rosinski

Käfer - Michal Rosinski


Do you make use of focus stacking for some of your photos?

I don’t like focus stacking, but sometimes I use it. I believe that you don't often need to stack pictures especially if you use apertures like f13 to f16. With this you are able to keep a good DOF for most of the subjects, but stacking is helpful when you take pictures with a magnification of 2:1 or higher. But to be able to do this, you often have to work at a home studio, or use flash, or have extremely good weather with no wind around. I live in big city so the only opportunity I have to take pictures is during vacation time or on weekends. So I don’t have too much time to experiment with focus stacking. To be able to take good pictures of many species, I like to use the single-shot technique, in which time ends up being a big factor that you have to take into consideration so that the pictures will be perfectly exposed :)

Springspinne - Michal Rosinski

Do you process your photos with Photoshop or other software?

Speaking of software - I take pictures in the RAW format so that I'll have more control over how the final picture will look like. For RAW processing I use SilkyPix Developer Studio and then, having a 16-bit TIFF, I can do the rest in Photoshop. But I always try to create as good a picture as I can while working in the fields, so I don’t need to spend hours on software processing. I’m happy when I only have to take 5 minutes per picture, which I usually am able to do. For stacking I use Photoshop or Zerene Stacker, both have some pros and cons, there is no software which is completely perfect :)

Do you have some tips to find animals like butterflies, jumping spiders and bugs? Where do they hide? What kind of habitats do they live in? And are there certain times when you can photograph these animals easier?

They are everywhere, really. Butterflies, you can usually find in the grass, bugs, on old wood and jumping spiders, on house walls, on fences or herbs. If you look around, you can easily find them. The easiest way to photograph them is during the morning hours, when the insects are either asleep or are lazy enough not to move so fast. But I also take pictures during the midday, especially during cold or cloudy days. The insects are usually lazy during such conditions so you are more likely to be able to take some nice shots then.

Mantis - Michal Rosinski

Heuschrecke-Michal Rosinski


Have you changed your mind about nature and its species since you started taking pictures?

I have always loved nature, so starting out with macro photography hasn't radically change my mind. Maybe I’m more careful about the smallest species and try to not to trample over them. When I wander about, I also avoid walking directly into spiders' webs. That’s what I’m trying to teach my child, to be careful around our smallest creatures.

What do you think about the continuous decrease in biodiversity? Do you think your child will be able to see the same animals you see now (insects, spiders, butterflies etc.) when he gets to be your age?

I think everything is going into the wrong direction. Many natural areas are turned into urban areas, where animals and insects are being destroyed, sometimes permanently, I hate it! Even though I live in the city, I try to take every single chance to go outside, sense nature and breathe the clean and clear air. Our children will inherit it from us. I hope my son will feel the same way as I do, when he is 30 or 40 years old, but I’m not so sure about that. I will probably be able tell more within the next few years, because I’m still a rookie where nature observations are concerned and haven’t had a chance to compare the situation from a decade ago with the current situation. Since I started taking photographs of insects, I have observed some population changes, but it’s more due to weather conditions in that particular year rather than destruction occurring within the environment. We have some nice areas in Poland, which are almost untouched. In such areas, beautiful living conditions still exist for small organisms, so it doesn’t look that bad for their future. Even in my town, I just recently found a jumping spider, as well as some butterflies in the spring time. We will see what happens.

Springspinne - Michal Rosinski

What’s your favourite species to take pictures of? And what kind of animals don’t you like to photograph, slugs?

For the last few years my favourite insects have been the dragonflies - I still love them, but last year I realized that it’s possible to take good pictures of jumping spiders in natural light, so it’s currently my favourite species. I love to work with them, they are very friendly, although sometimes quite crazy and non-cooperative :) but I always tell myself that I will have time enough to photograph them sometime later in the future, if I can't take a good picture of them today. I hope you get what I mean :) you have to be very patient while photographing them, but it's pure fun and if you are successful, the satisfaction is a really huge payoff :)

Speaking about species I don’t like, there are none that I can think of, that I don't like. The thing is that I’m sometimes too lazy to try to photograph some species, like slugs for instance, or some flies or other very, very common species, but I love them like any other species around :) I usually try to find something special, one that I haven't been able to add to my collection yet.

Heuschrecke-Michal Rosinski

Nachtfalter- Michal Rosinski


How important is macro photography to you?

The last question is about the essence of photography. Macro photography is something unique and magical for me, it gives me the possibility to take a deep breath and relax in pure nature, so I’m always waiting impatiently for the time to come so that I can spend it in the fields. My wife sometimes says I get lost while sitting in the wilderness and she is probably right, but I just love it :)

Thanks for your patience and having taken the time to read all of this, I hope it will be of some inspiration to you, especially to the young people, who are trying out this very special kind of photography.

Mehr von Michal Rosinski findet ihr hier:

Michal on Googleplus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/114903218145103206309/posts

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